Jury finds SW Ohio dad Antrone Smith guilty of felonious assault, murder after toddler's death

CINCINNATI - A southwest Ohio jury decided Tuesday that a man accused of beating his toddler to death in 2011 was guilty of felonious assault and murder, but will not face the death penalty.

On Tuesday morning, a Hamilton County jury found 29-year-old Antrone Smith guilty of felonious assault and murder after he allegedly caused the death of his 2-year-old son, DeMarcus Jackson. The jury found that he was not guilty of aggravated murder, which does not make Smith eligible for the death penalty.

Defense attorney Perry Ancona said he thought it was a fair decision.

"We're certainly happy he doesn't have to face the death penalty," Ancona said.

Joseph Tye, who served as a foster father to Jackson, attended the jury report and remember the boy he took care of.

"It's really a no-win situation, but today was a day for [Jackson] to get justice," Tye said.

Police say on Oct. 21, 2011, Smith called 911 to report a medical emergency at his Westwood home. Jackson died one day later from blunt force trauma to the abdomen, according to reports.

Jackson had extensive injuries including contusions to his jaw, eye, legs, arms and midsection when he arrived at the hospital, said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. Jackson also had lacerations on his genital area, his neck, ear and buttocks, he added.

The child had been in foster care for most of his life before being returned to his biological parents.

Smith had previously been indicted on charges of murder and felonious assault.

The jury heard closing arguments in the trial on Monday morning in Judge West's courtroom before the case when to the jury. The date has not yet been set for Smith's sentencing.

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